The Fountain Light: Studies in Romanticism and Religion in Honor of John L. Mahoney

The Fountain Light: Studies in Romanticism and Religion in Honor of John L. Mahoney

The Fountain Light: Studies in Romanticism and Religion in Honor of John L. Mahoney

The Fountain Light: Studies in Romanticism and Religion in Honor of John L. Mahoney

Synopsis

It has often been suggested that Romanticism of its very nature has affinities with religious quest and spiritual value. These new essays, written in honor of distinguished eighteenth-century and Romantic scholar John L. Mahoney, explore the intersection of Romanticism and religion. They range from broad considerations of this relationship in several Romantic writers to close readings of individual poems. The collection breaks new ground in the exploration of the role of religion in the Romantics experience and will be of interest not only to scholars of Romanticism and historians of nineteenth-century religion, but to anyone interested in the intellectual life of the nineteenth-century England.

Excerpt

To say that this book is a labor of love would be no exaggeration. The contributors to this collection are all colleagues and students of John Mahoney, who offer these essays as a tribute to one for whom they have deep respect and affection. Their work is an attempt not only to recognize and express gratitude for their personal debts to him, but also to celebrate publicly his distinguished career. We offer him this baker’s dozen with admiration and with heartfelt gratitude.

It has often been suggested that Romanticism of its very nature has affinities with religious quest and spiritual values. These essays, ranging from broad consideration of several Romantic writers to close readings of individual poems, attempt to explore some of the many intersections of Romanticism and religion.

David Perkins’ opening essay on religion and animal rights, which considers a wide range of Romantic literature, is followed by six essays on various aspects of religious experience in Wordsworth: Robert Kiely on Wordsworth and St. Francis of Assisi; Dennis Taylor discussing the re-emergence of the imagery of medieval Catholicism in his work; David Leigh tracing some of Wordsworth’s religious rhetoric and imagery to the influence of William Cowper; Charles Rzepka on religious dimensions of the early Prelude, John Anderson comparing the religious sonnets of Wordsworth with those of Felicia Hemans; and J. Robert Barth considering the influence of Wordsworth on the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The next sequence of essays focuses on Coleridge: James Engell on Coleridge’s discussions of the soul; Thomas Lloyd on the religious use of “mythos” in Coleridge; Jonathan Mulrooney discussing the influence of Coleridge’s religious dissent on William Hazlitt’s “conversational style”; Frederick Burwick on Coleridge and Thomas De Quincey on the subject of miracles; and Philip Rule tracing the affinities be-

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